Monday, August 26, 2013

First Day of Not School

Last night I had trouble sleeping. I had a bad stomach ache last night and this morning I woke up about an hour before my alarm went off and couldn't fall back asleep to save my life. Pretty common for the first day of school. Teaching-related sleep anxiety has been a staple of my August-June life for the past six years.

But today was different. It was indeed the first day of school in my district, but it was the first day that I really didn't go back to teaching. Yes, I worked all summer in my new role, and I even did it half time (sort of) last year, so it's not like it's completely new. But today was the first day that I really officially did not go back as a teacher.

Lots of people have been asking me how it feels. I thought today would be weird and milestone-ish. But it turned out to be just another day at the office. Except for the weird sleep last night (maybe I just woke up early because my roommates were getting up at a work hour for the first time today?), nothing felt different. On Saturday when I helped a friend set up her classroom, it didn't really feel weird that I wasn't setting up my own. The only time I have felt weird was about a month ago when I was at Target and I started to look at the school supplies and then realized I didn't have to. It wasn't necessarily happy and it wasn't necessarily sad. It was just a small jolt out of a usual August routine.

Will it hit me at some point? Probably. It's hard to imagine that quitting the career I intended to do for a lifetime wouldn't emotionally screw with me in some way or another. Is that a good thing? Probably. I still unquestionably believe that teachers are the most important part of our educational system and that everyone else in education should just be working on how to support them. So I definitely see myself as some level of failure for giving up on doing that most important job. I just hope that as I continue in a different direction that I do everything I can to take care of the teachers who take care of our kids. Maybe if I can make some teacher's life easier and her job more exciting, she won't burn out like I did.


betweenthenumbers said...

I didn't realize you had changed jobs. What are you up to these days?

Linda said...

You did not really leave teaching. You are simply teaching in a different way. I agree that teachers come right after the kids in the importance hierarchy of the world, but those great folks supporting teachers are invaluable, too. You are not failing or quitting, just shifting your focus. Carry on.

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